The toy industry would not be what it is today without the hard work and passion of the toy inventor and designer community who have dedicated their careers to creating innovative, safe, and engaging playthings for children everywhere. To support inventors and designers of all levels, this year organizers of Toy Fair New York have expanded and enhanced the Creative Factor programming – the educational sessions specifically designed to serve the creative community.
“The future of the toy industry depends on the ability of inventors and designers to be able to present their unique ideas and products as viable options to manufacturers and licensors,” said Marian Bossard, executive vice-president of global market events at The Toy Association. “With the expansion of the Creative Factor brand, our goal is to provide them with the tools they need to succeed in a very competitive and fast-paced landscape.”
With the guidance of a new Creative Factor Advisory Board– comprised of veteran experts on entrepreneurism, design, and innovation—Toy Fair attendees will have access to a host of pitching sessions, experience-centered workshops, roundtables, and panel discussions throughout the four-day show. All Creative Factor programming and experiences are included with Toy Fair registration credentials.
Held in Hall 1D of the Javits Center, Creative Factor sessions will focus on issues, trends, and important topics for inventors, designers, and others in the creative community. The expanded line-up of content will be presented by experts across a wide range of disciplines on topics including:
- How to build your brand’s narrative
- Tips on out-of-the-box distribution
- How inventors/designers can make the gig economy for toys work for them
- 3D modeling for toy design
- A play innovation panel
- How the integration of AI, robotics, VR, and AR is driving innovation in the toy space, among many other sessions
CF@TF Inventor Day
As part of the new Creative Factor programming, Toy Fair hosted an inaugural CF@TF Inventor Day on Friday, February 15. The day was an opportunity for select toy inventors and designers, who applied for the event this past fall, to pitch their ideas to prospective partners in manufacturing or licensing.
“By connecting individuals to influential manufacturers, licensors, and retailers, Toy Fair New York is the perfect platform to cultivate and support the next generation of toy design,” said Brett Klisch, Creative Factor co-founder and owner of Peru Meridian Studios. “The event is an excellent opportunity for companies – especially those with inventor relations departments – to view innovative products, designs, and prototypes; meet the designers; and hopefully move the conversation forward.”
Toy Fair’s Launch Pad
CF@TF Inventor Day isn’t the only place where buyers can discover never-before-seen inventors, designers, and their products at the show. Toy Fair New York will once again dedicate an entire expanse of the show floor, dubbed the Launch Pad in Hall 1E, exclusively to new and up-and-coming companies that are exhibiting for the first time. More than 100 companies from 17 countries will showcase their toys and games in the Launch Pad.
“The products featured in this area are wonderful examples of the novel and exciting perspectives toy inventors and designers are taking on the future of play,” Bossard says. “Toy Fair has long been a hub of innovation and creativity and now we are able to offer companies multiple avenues to discover their next big seller.”
Nearly 30,000 toy and game professionals will descend upon the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to view the newest and hottest toys, games, and youth entertainment products at Toy Fair New York. Visit ToyFairNY.com or download the free Toy Fair app to learn more about Creative Factor educational sessions, special events, and more.
Meet the Creative Factor Advisory Board
Toy Fair’s Creative Factor programming has a new advisory board made up of the following individuals:
Brett Klisch, co-founder of Creative Factor and creative director at Peru Meridian Studios, a design and manufacturing firm that works with independent designers and startups as well as some of the biggest companies in the toy industry.
Robin Raskin, founder of Living in Digital Times, a team of technophiles who bring together top experts and the latest innovations to look at the intersection of lifestyle and technology at conferences and events.
Warren Tuttle, president of the United Inventors Association Board of Directors, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to inventor education, marketplace access, and advocacy.
Billy Langsworthy, co-founder of Mojo Nation in the UK, which supports and celebrates the work done by the toy inventor and designer community.
Matt Nuccio, owner of Design Edge, a toy and game development, marketing, manufacturing, inventing, and consulting agency. Check here to read Nuccio February’s column.